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Twins Minor League Report (9/8): Do or Die

Both the Kernels and the Blue Wahoos were in a do-or-die situation on Sunday. Cedar Rapids fell in the first game of their three-game semifinal series on Saturday so they are in a position where they must win the final two games to advance. Pensacola came back from two games down to tie up their five-game series at 2-2 and set-up a decisive fifth game. Could either team survive Sunday’s action?
Image courtesy of Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Trevor Larnach, Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff))
IF Ryan Costello placed on 7-day IL with Pensacola.
RHP Bailey Ober placed on 7-day IL with Pensacola.
IF Joe Cronin transferred to Pensacola from Rochester.
LHP Bryan Sammons promoted to Pensacola from Fort Myers.

Pensacola 4, Biloxi 8
Box Score
If this was a best of three series like in Cedar Rapids, Pensacola would have already been eliminated, but the club managed a comeback in the series, and they would need a dramatic comeback in this game. Bryan Sammons started on the mound and put the club in position to have the lead. He pitched 4 2/3 innings by scattering two runs (both home runs) and adding in five strikeouts.

Anthony Vizcaya took over for Sammons and he allowed the game-tying run. Over 2 1/3 innings, he allowed one run on two hits with three strikeouts. Former top pitching prospect Stephen Gonsalves struggled on the mound as he didn’t record an out and allowed three earned runs. Alex Phillips tried to stop the bleeding.

Offensively, Mark Contreras tripled with two outs in the second and scampered home after a throwing error by the shortstop. This briefly gave Pensacola the lead at 1-0. In the fourth frame, Ryan Jeffers led off with a double and came in on a Contreras ground out. Jose Miranda walked in the inning and eventually scored on a Caleb Hamilton double that took back the lead for Pensacola at 3-2. Jeffers had another big hit in the eighth as he took the lead back with a solo home run.

Pensacola wouldn’t have their season end quietly in the ninth. Jimmy Kerrigan coaxed a six-pitch walk with two outs in the inning that saw the Blue Wahoos down to their last strike. Alex Kirilloff followed with a single, but he too had been down to his last strike. Royce Lewis stepped to the plate with two runners aboard and he already had three hits on the night. Unfortunately, he struck out swinging.

Congrats to the Blue Wahoos on a terrific season.

Cedar Rapids 3, Clinton 2
Box Score
Kody Funderburk started for Cedar Rapids, but in a do-or-die game, pitchers can have a short leash. He made it into the fourth inning (3 1/3 innings) by allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks. From there the Kernels’ bullpen was unreal. Dylan Thomas and Rickey Ramirez combined for 5 2/3 shutout innings with each pitcher limiting Clinton to one hit.

Cedar Rapids got on the board in the second inning after back-to-back one-out hits. Tyler Webb got into scoring position with a double before DaShawn Keirsey drove him in with a single. Keirsey was left stranded at second after a wild pitch, but the Kernels had tied the game at 1-1.

The Kernels found themselves down a run in the bottom of the ninth with the season on the line. Matt Wallner reached base on a throwing error by the shortstop and was replaced by pinch runner Daniel Ozoria. Seth Gray moved the runner to third with a single before Webb drove in the tying run. Cedar Rapids still had yet to make an out in the inning. Keirsey came up with his second big hit of the night to keep Cedar Rapids alive.

The last five home wins at home for Cedar Rapids have ended with a walk-off single in the ninth. They will need to win a decisive game on Monday to advance the Midwest League Championship Series.

TD Pitcher of the Day- Rickey Ramirez, Cedar Rapids (3.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 4 K, 0 BB)
TD Hitter of the Day- Ryan Jeffers, Pensacola (3-4, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 R)

Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

#1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – 3-5, K
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 1-4, BB
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Minnesota) – Did not pitch
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 0-4, 2 K
#5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-3, BB, 2 K
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI
#14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 1-4, R
#15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, K
#20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – 0-3, BB, 2 K

Cedar Rapids vs. Clinton (6:35 CST) – RHP Tyler Palm (4-11, 4.06 ERA)

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.

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Sep 08 2019 07:32 PM
What the hell? Kiriloff, come on, no homer?

Do the playoff stats count in the season stats?
    • David HK and rdehring like this

I'm guessing Ober hit his inning limit and that's why he didn't pitch in the playoffs?

Do the playoff stats count in the season stats?

No, they do not.

I'm guessing Ober hit his inning limit and that's why he didn't pitch in the playoffs?

I wouldn't think so -- Ober only had 78.2 innings this year, versus 75 innings last year.

I guess Ober to the IL explains why he didn't start either of the last two games.Any news of how serious the injury is?


Great series for Kirilloff.Even with all the injuries it doesn't make sense to call him up.He wouldn't be available for the play offs and doesn't need to be added to the 40-man this November.But it should be exciting next summer when he does break in with the Twins.


Wallner sure hit a wall in the playoffs.And Javier hit like he did throughout the year.Amazing that the Kernels are in position to win tonight and go on to the finals for a second straight year.Sure seems to be a nice relationship building between the Kernels and Twins.

Sep 09 2019 12:28 PM


No, they do not.



Yeah it seems like the stats just sort of disappear from their career stats. So AK's home runs won't be counted in his career minor league stats. He has a career postseason OPS of 1.191 with 5 home runs over 48 ABs.

Still rehabbing Gonsalves in AA for a game 5 win or go home game in the playoffs? He doesn't pitch all year, starts rehabbing in August at rookie level, and then they have him pitch in the playoffs? Seems odd and not very considerate of the other teammates. Sure it's minors... but still. It is the playoffs, and that still means something to these guys, or at least, it should.

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